Streaming music companies are like goldfish swimming around a little plastic rock formation and bubbling diver statue: They have absolutely no memory and are always surprised by what's in the fishbowl. In the streaming community's case, the companies involved are continuously stunned by the fact that there's more than one such service in the app store and that mobile device owners would choose someone else's over theirs.
Or that someone would chose a service that requires less effort and is available for free.My colleague Rocco Pendola took Beats Music to task for its hubris earlier this week. He noted that the presence of cranky old rock curators like Trent Reznor failed to earn Beats any fans outside the esoteric music snob set, but didn't mention that Beats' touted deal with AT&T to offer unlimited downloads hasn't helped shore up the streaming service in the least. As Apple (AAPL - Get Report) discovered with iTunes Radio -- and its failing attempt to use streaming to sell music downloads -- the streaming audience cares as much about downloads as Run DMC fans care about Reverend Run's reality TV family.